If you’re starting a new business or blog, the first important thing to do is figure out who your target audience is and decide on an effective way of reaching them.
Regardless of how familiar you are with starting a business or marketing one, we should all be able to agree on one thing.
Today’s technology provides an amazing avenue to reach new people. Social media platforms, blogs, YouTube channels, and the internet overall are filled with billions of people from all demographics, ages, and walks of life.
Unlike the old days where you’d have to take out a billboard ad or secure a listing in a phonebook, the average person is going to find a business using their smartphone, smart speaker, or laptop.
“Alexa, find me the nearest pizza shop?”
“Hey Google, where’s the nearest gas station near me?”
Does any of these commands sound familiar?
They should. It’s how today’s society interact with businesses. With that said, you’re probably wondering how you can set up your website to be found when a person uses the internet to find it.
This process is called SEO, and I’ll explain what it is below.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Curriculum
- Part 1 — What is It? (You Are Here)
- Part 2 — Importance of SEO
- Part 3 — Creating a Strategy
- Part 4 — In House vs Outsourcing
- Part 5 — Beginner SEO Tools
- Part 6 — Basic Implementation
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your website’s visibility on the internet by adapting it to the standards search engines and people want.
To better understand SEO, you’ll need to understand how a search engine even works.
Let’s take Google as an example.
Everyone knows that Google is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It’s also the most widely-used search engine, compared to Bing and Yahoo.
Google is so powerful that it’s basically synonymous with the word “research”.
Ex. “Hey Chris, Google how many cups in a gallon.”
What is SEO?SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your website’s visibility on the internet by adapting it to the standards search engines and people want.
In order for Google to maintain its monopoly as the most dynamic search engine, it has to provide the most accurate results based on what you search for.
To accomplish this, Google uses very smart algorithms based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. In other words, Google’s algorithms are highly-advanced and designed to learn from what people search online to provide the best results.
For example, here’s what you’ll see on Google when you type in “plumber near me”:
The first results are what is called, paid ads.
That’s the complete opposite of SEO, so I won’t get into that here, but they’re important too.
Anyway, here’s what you’ll see when you scroll:
This is a Google Maps listing, showing the nearest local plumbers in my area. As you can see, Google has ranked these listings according to their algorithm, which clearly values:
- Star Rating — This is the number of stars a business listing has, along with the number beside it. Star ratings are based on a scale of 1-5.
- Reviews — This is the number of reviews a business has. It’s the number in parenthesis by the star rating.
As you can see, it’s a no-brainer why Nation Economy Plumbers rank #1 on Google Maps for “plumbers near me”.
They have a higher star rating (4.4) and more reviews (45) than the second listing, A Quality Plus.
For Google Maps, improving the visibility of your business listing is called local SEO, aimed towards local businesses (I’ll discuss this in a later post).
But, that doesn’t mean larger businesses and enterprises are exempt from creating an SEO strategy.
Let’s say that I want to purchase customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep up with the leads I’m receiving every day. To do this, I type in “crm software” into the Google search bar:
Again, the first you’ll see is ads. But, if you’re window shopping at the moment and trying to find the best solution, you’re not really going to click on those.
You want to differentiate between the different CRM products on the market. The good news is that when you scroll down, you’ll see a result that stands out:
This result stands out because it’s not selling you anything. It’s also not a compilations post of the best CRM products. This result from Salesforce wants to teach you what CRM software is and how it can improve your business.
As you can imagine, this type of result is going to pull in a lot of traffic from the internet, even for enterprise companies.
Unlike local SEO, search engine optimization for small businesses and the like are ranked according to:
- Technical Factors — How fast is your website? Does it provide what a person is looking for? This is very important to Google.
- Optimization — Search engines like Google send robots to crawl every website on the internet. A lot of SEO work goes into fine-tuning a website to be read by these bots through optimization.
- Content — Are you creating content that your audience wants to read? Blogs and even YouTube videos can rank online and lead more people to your website to ultimately become a customer.
- Performance — How well is your website performing on the internet? How long do people stay, and are other websites linking back to it?
And, this is all you need to know about SEO’s definition as a beginner.
See you next time…
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